Contact Center Glossary

Simulation Training

What Is Simulation Training?

Simulation training is when people learn how to perform tasks through an imitation of real-life processes in a controlled environment. This has long been used in a variety of fields with complicated nuances where the unexpected at any time, in everything from flight simulators to healthcare. At its most straightforward, simulation training is a way to replicate the real world in a risk-free situation, allowing for growth and confidence.

By providing examples of a variety of situations, people can learn how to think on their feet, apply what they’ve learned to unexpected events, and quickly adapt to changing conditions.

How Does Simulation-Based Training Work for Call Centers?

Simulation training is a huge benefit to anyone who deals directly with people, especially in customer service. After all, call center employees are tasked with navigating both practical and emotional issues with customers. They get calls during stressful times, when people might be worried about time or money, and may not be clear on what they need.

Call center employees almost always have scripts for a variety of situations. Simulation training gives them the chance to use those scripts in order to get comfortable with them in practice.

There are a lot of benefits to becoming comfortable with every scripted situation before going into the real world. These include:

  • The ability to sound natural and use your natural voice while adhering closely to the spirit of the script, if not every letter
  • The ability to handle situations where the customer doesn’t know exactly what they want, since the employee has already dealt with similar situations
  • The ability to remain calm under unexpected circumstances, since they have prior training with a customer going in unexpected direction
  • The power to make decisions that lead toward a positive resolution

How Does Simulation Training Work?

At its simplest, simulation training is putting people in real-world activities without having to face the consequences of less-than-perfect actions. It’s how they improve their knowledge and skills without facing risk. Think about the flight simulator. You can simulate what it is like to have to land a plane during a stormy and windy day without putting an amateur in the sky and saying “good luck!”

Obviously, most simulation training isn’t that dramatic. Take the call center simulation. There are basically two tracks of training.

  • Training through basic situations involving different products and services, in order to become comfortable with expected situations.
  • Training with curveballs, which may or may not actually happen, in order to become comfortable with surprises.

Simulation training can be done in-person, with a supervisor or more experienced person playing the role of the customer. That takes a lot of time and people power. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Can Simulation Training Be Automated?

When it comes to flight simulators, we expect a level of technology to be involved. Historically, that hasn’t been the case with more people-oriented training. But developments in artificial intelligence have made automated simulation training not just possible, but easy to use.

AI coaching platforms can be used to mimic both expected and unexpected situations, coaching trainees to be more responsive, empathetic, and confident. These programs in a simulated environment can help managers see the areas where workers excel and areas where they might need more personal coaching.

What Are The Benefits of Simulation Training?

Simulation training has a lot of benefits. These include:

  • Accelerated rate to proficiency
  • Reduced attrition
  • Higher morale
  • Lower operating costs
  • Less time spent in training
  • Less need for more experienced agents and managers to spend time training
  • More confident employees

No matter what the job is, no one likes going into situations cold. Simulation training gives employees the space to succeed, the cushion to fail, and the confidence to start their real work knowing that they’ve got the skills they need to be great.

What Are Other Applications for Simulation Training?

Simulation training can be used in a variety of fields. This includes:

  • Sales: Agents learn how to identify pain points, master cross-selling, and more
  • Customer Service: Agents learn how to diagnose problems and offer solutions
  • Fraud: Agents learn how to ask the right questions to certify identification
  • Collections: Agents learn how to overcome objections in stressful situations
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